May 18, 2011
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The New Yorker’s Mark of a Masterpiece tells me its time to re-evaluate a couple opinions I expressed about that so-called Jackson Pollock I wrote about back in 2006. Thanks to a documentary called Who the #$&% is Jackson Pollock?, I wasted a fair bit of ink on why I thought the International Foundation for Art Research should take another look at a garish painting that didn’t look much like a Pollock. Forensic scientist Peter Paul Biro had produced fingerprinting identification and matched paint samples though, and that evidence seemed rather compelling. So I pushed aside a few pesky details, namely that it followed the basic rule of forgery: The less plausible the fake, the more involved the narrative and documentation becomes. This one reached absurd levels, with truck driver Teri Horton’s big thrift store find and Peter Paul Biro’s research even spinning its own documentary.